The Philadelphia Eagles can pack away the underdog masks. They won't need them for a while.
During his introductory news conference Monday following his trade from the Seattle Seahawks, Michael Bennett verbalized the offseason optimism. The veteran pass rusher glowed about playing on a defensive line with Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Timmy Jernigan and Haloti Ngata.
"I think it can be one of the greatest," Bennett said, via ESPN.com. "I think we can have one of the greatest defensive lines to ever play the game if we approach the game like every single way, just go out there and keep doing what they're doing and just finding a way to just add and keep showing how many great players [we have]. And I think a great defensive line is about the rotation. It's kind of like Golden State, you want to be able to have those guys that can come in and shoot and shoot and score every time."
Surely Eagles fans will become semi-queasy hearing the offseason hype, with flashbacks of Vince Young's misguided "Dream Team" comment from yesteryear dancing in their heads.
The team Howie Roseman compiled heading into 2018, however, looks to be one of the best in the NFL -- with the defensive front leading the way. The flexibility and ferocity provided by Bennett and his linemates will make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.
"I know Eli Manning is probably watching this and thinking ... yes, I'm coming. I know Dak [Prescott] is watching this like, 'Yeah, he's coming.' Yeah, I am," Bennett said of his NFC East foes. "And Alex Smith, he knows he can't run from me. I told him in the Pro Bowl. It's definitely going to be a great season, and it's going to be fun to be out here and be able to chase quarterbacks."
Hyperbole in March is nothing new. But for an Eagles team that played the underdog card to championship effect in January, it's a different mask to wear.